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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Philosophy, Science and the Sciences

Juliane Küppers

Doctoral project

In my doctoral project I am researching Epicurean and Lucretian cosmology and atomic physic theories during the early Enlightenment. Currently I am focusing on the treatises of the French philosopher Pierre Gassendi and his scholarly debates with his peers. His works (like Disquisitiones Anticartesianae [1643], Disquisitio metaphysica [1644] and Syntagma philosophicum [1658]) had a crucial impact on the progression of ground-breaking theories on the vacuum, gravitation, and the movement of matter, for example in Newton’s Principia. They are however mostly discussed in paraphrases and in relation to other works (particularly Descartes’) but rarely in critical, text-based detail on their own. A suitable translation of his complete edition does not exist.

One key aspect of my research will be theories on the movement of atoms and matter, especially Gassendi’s concept of ‘atomistic dynamism’, and its discussion in Gassendi’s scientific network. The working title of my doctoral project is “Only atoms and empty space? Materialistic Cosmologies and Atomic Physic Theory at the Dawn of the Enlightenment”.

 

CV

Juliane Küppers is a doctoral student in the Research Training Group Philosophy, Science and the Sciences. Her supervisor is Professor Bernd Roling (Berlin). After working in the music industry for five years, mainly with artists in New York and London, Juliane studied Literature and Latin (B.A.) and Classical Philology (M.A.) at the Freie Universität Berlin while also working part-time as an editor and science journalist. Her M.A. thesis was a study on the didactic poem of the Jesuits as a medium of knowledge transfer and science communication. Juliane is mainly interested in physical theories of ancient natural philosophy as well as their reception and further development in the Early Modern Period and the Enlightenment.

Contact: juliane.kueppers@fu-berlin.de